Director of External Affairs

Organization icon

The Nature Conservancy

Location icon

San Antonio, TX, United States

Clock icon

27 days ago


San Antonio, Texas, USA

This position will be located in Texas, with preference for our San Antonio or Austin offices.


The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Texas seeks an accomplished conservation leader and proven legislative strategist to serve as Director of External Affairs. The Director of External Affairs develops, coordinates, and implements strategies to achieve the goals of the Texas business unit and its conservation partners by collaborating with the policy & partnerships staff and through direct interaction with governments, multilateral agencies, and/or partner organizations. The Texas business unit, which sits within TNC’s Great Plains Division, strives to create a resilient and sustainable future for nature and people by conserving priority landscapes, protecting freshwater systems, and advancing climate solutions that elevate the role of nature.


The Director of External Affairs partners with the State Director to direct and manage the Texas business units’ policy and partnership program, ensuring its capacity to advance policy initiatives that achieve TNC’s ambitious conservation objectives. They analyze the developing legislative landscape as it pertains to conservation policy and funding opportunities, evaluate the potential for strategic partnerships, and develop and implement strategies to influence corporate practice, public policy and public funding for conservation at a large scale. They liaison with counterparts within the organization to provide and extract useful lessons and experience and to coordinate on joint policy/practice approaches. The Director of External Affairs ensures that the program complies with federal lobbying laws and regulations, and monitors legislative and administrative initiatives and policies, which are related to the missions or programs of TNC. Willingness to travel within Texas and nationally as needed.


  • Responsible for directing all aspects of Texas’ policy and partnership program including managing staff, developing strategic initiatives in support of Texas’ priorities at the federal, state, and local level, and budget management.
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating, and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.
  • Accountable to persuasively convey the mission of The Nature Conservancy to diverse groups including key legislators, government officials, corporate entities, agencies, and other partners who are critical to the Conservancy’s overall public funding strategies.
  • Supervises administrative and/or professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and development.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies, external requirements, federal lobbying laws and regulations.
  • Effectively directs and or participates in complex negotiations.
  • Develops constructive and effective working relationships with the Great Plains division, the world organization, and outside the Conservancy.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and 6 years of senior management level experience in government relations, corporate sector, or equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Direct experience working with partners and government agencies.
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization.
  • Experience in strategy development and implementation.
  • Experience in relationship building skills.
  • Experience negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Experience with written and verbal communication and presentation skills.


  • Significant experience in federal and Texas public policy, conservation/environmental policy, regulatory advocacy, and public funding.
  • Direct experience developing political strategy with strong track record of proven results.
  • Excellent team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with governments, corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.
  • Familiarity with public funding mechanisms and sources and leveraging those toward outcomes.
  • Experience successfully managing teams, including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage performance of individuals and multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Strong commitment to incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in conservation practice.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.


To apply for job ID 51629, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.